Somebody Loves You!
Good Sunday morning 5th Avenue,
Blessings and peace on this last Sunday of September and welcome to Fall in the Midwest.
The chorus said it well, “They will know we are Christians by our love.” Scripture points to love as a defining characteristic of the Christian’s life. We are told to love one another. Even to love our enemies. Love is indeed the most excellent way. One of the privileges of being your humble Pastor-servant leader is the opportunity to love each and every one of you! And if you don’t know that I love you – now you do.
However, in this time of social, racial, and justice divisions in our communities and nation, I want to remind all of us of love – agape love – pure, willful, sacrificial love that intentionally desires another’s highest good. God desires for all of us to know we are loved unconditionally. “We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
“Thorn in the flesh.” After Paul had explained his visions and revelations to the Corinthians (2 Cor 12:1-6), he tells them about the thorn in the flesh that was given to him. The apparent purpose of this thorn was beneficiary. Its intent was to keep Paul from conceit on account of his visions and revelations which otherwise may have given him a reason to boast.
Paul pleaded with the Lord on three separate occasions for the Lord to remove the thorn, yet God’s grace was enough for the apostle and His power is made perfect in Paul’s weaknesses.
As our lives continue to be bombarded with unimaginable stress, hurt, division, anger, and a passionate desire to return to “normal”, remember, Somebody Loves You! God gave Paul more overwhelming grace and more compensating strength. Paul learned that God’s “power is made perfect in weakness” and through our thorns, God’s grace is still sufficient. Whether the “thorn” we struggle with today is physical, emotional, or spiritual, we can know that God has a purpose and that His grace is all-sufficient.
Be blessed & be still,
Rev. Clarissa Martinelli
Pastor, Fifth Avenue UMC
323 South Fifth Avenue
West Bend, WI
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. I am a child of God.” marianne williamison